Endoscopy 1998; 30(8): 675-680
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1001387
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Colonoscopic Evaluation of Severe Hematochezia in an Oriental Population

K. Y. Y. Kok, C. K. Kum, P. M. Y. Goh
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Center, Dept. of Surgery, National University Hospital, Singapore
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
17 March 2008 (online)


Background and Study Aims: Hematochezia is a common clinical problem. When the bleeding is brisk and continuous it requires prompt hospital admission and careful diagnostic evaluation and management. Colonoscopy has become the first-line investigative modality in patients presenting with severe hematochezia in many centers, including ours. A retrospective review was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of colonoscopy in determining the cause of severe hematochezia in our Oriental population.

Patients and Methods: One hundred and ninety patients with severe hematochezia underwent colonoscopy at the National University Hospital, Singapore, from 1 January 1988 to 31 December 1994. Their records were retrieved and the data analyzed for sex, age, presentation, concomitant medical conditions, prevalence of recent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ingestion, past history of hematochezia, investigations, subsequent interventions and outcome.

Results: Colonoscopy as the fist-line investigative modality identified the site and cause of hematochezia in 78 % (148/190) of cases. The site of bleeding remained “obscure” even after additional investigations in 15 % (29/190) of cases. The commonest cause of severe hematochezia in our Oriental population was diverticular disease (30 %, 57/190) with right-sided diverticular bleeding constituting 44 % (25/57) of these cases. Overall, bleeding stopped spontaneously in 81 % (154/190) of cases. Surgery was performed in 16 % (30/190) of cases. The mortality related to severe hematochezia in this series was 5 % (9/190).

Conclusions: The diagnostic efficiency of colonoscopy in defining the site and cause of severe hematochezia in the Oriental population is comparable to most Western series. The commonest cause of severe hematochezia in our population was diverticular disease.